Festival holds second annual Routes and Blues

Take a hike, eat a community prepared meal and listen to some great music at this Roots and Blues outreach program throughout the Shuswap.

Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues Music Festival is hitting the road this week with Routes and Blues, an outreach program to introduce fans to the Shuswap.

This year’s festival road trip has been organized by Brigitte Haberle and Yvonne Adriaans, two interns from an international leisure management program in the Netherlands.

Haberle has one more year to obtain her bachelor’s degree and says working at the festival office has only confirmed her career choice.

“I really love the event sector in general, and I think music is a great way to express feelings and thoughts,” she said.

Those taking the route, which includes interpretive hikes provided by the Shuswap Trail Alliance, community meals, and concerts by Roots and Blues artists, can obtain a passport with maps of the communities, stamps and a schedule of things to do. Passport holders will be encouraged to collect stamps at each destination and enter the contest that involves having the most stamps in a book.

The route began in Kingfisher Thursday night and continues in Mara today with an afternoon hike along the Shuswap River, a meal at the Mara community hall, followed by a concert by the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra.

Participants can visit Seymour Arm and its surroundings at the north end of the Shuswap Saturday  with a hike to Albas Falls, a meal and show with the Shuffle Demons and the six-piece Cuban band Septeto Santiaguero at Don Fink Memorial Park.

The fourth route travels through Blind Bay Sunday with the Lookout Trail hike, a community-prepared meal, and Buckman Coe’s intensive storytelling at the Blind Bay Hall.

The community of Squilax is on the agenda for Monday, with a hike through Roderick Haig-Brown Provincial Park in the afternoon, local aboriginal cuisine, and a show with Rez Bluez, Murray Porter and Friends at Quaaout Lodge.

Tuesday, the route travels to Malakwa and surroundings with a hike on the Gorge Creek Loop Trail, a community prepared meal, followed by the uplifting sounds of Watasun in concert at the Malakwa Community Centre.

The last two events take place in Salmon Arm, Wednesday and Thursday, with the  SiriusXM Live on the Lake Satellite performances featuring the Shuffle Demons and Shred Kelly performing from the top of a houseboat at Canoe Beach, Herald’s Park and the Salmon Arm Wharf.

Visitors can pick up a Routes & Blues discovery packet at the Salmon Arm Bay Interpretive Centre and embark on a self-guided nature walk at the Salmon Arm bird sanctuary.

The Wednesday On the Wharf concert will also be part of fun,  featuring the funky Septeto Santiaguero.

The final day consists of a music crawl through downtown Salmon Arm restaurants and pubs.

For complete descriptions of all the routes and to purchase tickets, visit www.routesandblues.ca, or call (250) 833-4096 for more information.

The Roots and Blues Festival takes place at the Salmon Arm Fairgrounds, Aug. 17 to 19. Visit rootsandblues.ca for the complete lineup of artists, schedules, and to purchase tickets.